Sunday, June 6, 2010


Six times in the Bible Job is described as a man of integrity. I can't think of a higher aspiration than to be a man or woman of integrity. Living with integrity means more than not stealing or not telling lies. Here's a helpful definition of integrity, and what it means to live a life characterized by integrity.

Integrity, while sometimes used simply as a synonym for honest or good, has much deeper connotations. Webster's tells us that integrity is "the quality or state of being complete; unbroken condition; wholeness; entirety." A quick look at its root confirms this central meaning. An integer, for example, is a whole number, and to integrate is to make "whole or complete by bringing together parts." Likewise, if something is integral, it is "essential for completeness." And integrated is the opposite of "disintegrated"—broken into fragments.

In other words, a person of integrity is whole, complete, and sound. Integrity in the human person is the integration of the spiritual life with the life in the world, the unity of our words with our deeds, and a consistency, rather than an inconsistency, between our thoughts and beliefs. Our profession and our confession work together rather than against one another. This is the integrated person, the sound man, the complete woman—the person of integrity.

Michael P. Schutt, Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2007) pp. 91-2

For followers of Jesus, living a life of integrity means a fundamental commitment to bring all of life under the lordship of Christ. It means resisting the temptation to compartmentalize, or disintegrate, our lives. In addition, the author suggests a Christian life of integrity requires "a continual pursuit of life in and through community" (primarily through the fellowship of the visible church) and a commitment to truth as God reveals it in creation and scripture.

This is a great book! I'll have more to say about it in the future, including why I'm reading a book written for lawyers even though I'm not one.

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